Instead of taking the usual M6/M5 route down to Bath, I took the scenic route down through the Welsh Marches and a chance to visit a few more castles on the way.
First stop Stokesay, where last time I visited the gatehouse was being restored. It's now looks quite bright
Then on to Grosmont, one of a triangle of castles owned by Hubert de Burgh
Quite an impressive sized castle for one that is free to enter, perhaps it is bacause it is a bit off the beaten track.
Then onto his second castle at Skenfrith, again quite substantial and free.
plus quite an unusual church
Unfortunately his third "White castle" was closed on Mondays, so the next stop was Monmouth
The old town bridge
There isn't much left of what was originally a very large castle, but the neighbouring Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers Museum is worth a visit.
A final stop was Tintern Abbey, normally heaving with tourists, but quiet for a change
Then only a short run down to the M4 and onto Bath. Overall a very pleasant way to spend a day and didn't feel like the usual long ordeal.